If you could have witnessed the scene among Vocabulary.com educators at Brenner's Steakhouse last night, you would have understood why this stretch of Houston has been dubbed "The Energy Corridor"! Amped up educators representing all of the major area school districts and many independent schools flocked to the lush gardens of Brenner's for a rockin word party. And, as we say at Vocabulary.com, "There ain't no party like a word party!"
The attendees ranged from hardcore Vocabulary.com veterans from Chavez High School and St. Vincent de Paul to Vocabulary.com newbies from far-flung schools like Wunsche High School of Spring ISD. They all came together to swap literacy success stories and compete in some herculean vocabulary challenges.
The first linguistic challenge was a virtual one — where attendees were riveted to their mobile devices while their furious fingers raced to see who could complete the Magical Mystery List first. The first to cross the finish line was science teacher extraordinaire Todd Guthrie of Beren Academy.
Then, when it was time to guess the elusive origin of the word list, Nelva Williamson, of Young Women's College Prep, followed the relevant word clues like orphan and gruel to correctly guess that our Magical Mystery List was formed by grabbing 25 words from the 19th century novel Oliver Twist. It turned out to be a grueling event in more ways than one.
As expected, team play got more than a little raucous. Teams — with names like Team Bazinga, Shiny Happy People, and The Rogues — duked it out for multiple rounds of killer Vocabulary.com questions. Team play went into overtime when they were forced to tap into their inner poet to compose and dramatically deliver odes to vocabulary. Vo-Fab's poetic performance stole the show, but Wordly Wise ultimately outscored all of the other teams and went home proudly donning official Vocabulary.com medals.
Just when everyone thought the evening was winding down, our CTO Marc Tinkler plucked out the winning raffle ticket and presented Montre Johnson of Hamilton Middle School of HISD with an Apple Watch.
It was a fitting end to the night when Texas native Willie Nelson belted out "On the Road Again" as we bid a fond farewell to our friends down on the Bayou. (OK, OK, Willie really wasn't there, but he did make it onto the Road Trip playlist.) A huge thank you to the dedicated teachers who put aside their papers for the night and spent time getting to know more about Vocabulary.com and the folks behind it.
Our next stop? Looks like we are casting aside our ten gallon hats and lassos and grabbing our shades and surf boards: Southern California, here we come! We're cooking up two events on the west coast: one in Costa Mesa and one in Riverside. Why? Because, like Willie, we just can't wait to get on the road again!
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